Injection molder Miniature Custom Manufacturing LLC is growing in Vicksburg, Mich., with a $3 million expansion project that will create 37 jobs over the next two to three years.
As part of the investment, the company is planning a 24,000-square-foot expansion at its manufacturing plant, doubling the size to a total of 48,000 square feet. The additional space will be used as a toolroom and warehouse.
MCM is also converting roughly 14,000 square feet previously used for parts storage into a second manufacturing facility, which will become plant two. The project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019.
MCM is a high-volume injection molder. It makes small plastic parts — salt caps, protein powder scoops, under-the-hood components and clips for fuel and brake lines, for example — for several markets, including automotive, food packaging, consumer industrial products and medical.
The Vicksburg manufacturing facility houses operations for injection molding, insert molding, overmolding and two-shot molding, plus automated assembly. The site currently has 17 injection molding machines, with clamping forces ranging from 38-550 tons.
Co-owner Kevin Murphy said the company plans to invest in additional equipment as part of the expansion.
"We'll be purchasing more mid- to large-tonnage machines," Murphy said in an April 24 phone interview. He estimated the company will purchase between three to four machines a year.
The company has been approved for a $175,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.'s business development program, contingent on job creation. MCM chose to invest in its current facility in Michigan instead of a competing site in Indiana.
Murphy described the Indiana option, however, as "a nice middle-of-the-road" location near all of its customers.
When asked whether the company is considering growth outside of Michigan, Murphy said: "We're starting to do quite a bit of business in Mexico as well as starting to get into the European markets, so we don't know for the future, but we're not shutting the doors on anything."
The expansion project and overall investment are part of a larger strategy for diversifying MCM's customer base, Murphy explained.
"We were primarily automotive, and we've branched into food packaging and medical," he said.
Murphy, accompanied on the call with co-owner Steve Shoemaker, declined to provide sales figures, but said in the last three years, MCM has "not grown less than 20-plus percent a year."
"Steve and I don't believe that we're any more special than the next injection molder," he said. "What we believe is that we have the right people in the right seat on the bus. And it's our people [who are] the reason why we are where we're at."
MCM has 67 employees. The headquarters, which includes additional warehousing, is just down the road from the Vicksburg manufacturing site.